The brats that are offered up at Bangers & Brews range anywhere from the current special, lamb, to its set menu items like wild boar, water buffalo, duck and bacon, and elk. Those are just to name a few. The selection in meats is astounding. This is not a drill, people. This is what we have been training for. This is real life and it is delicious.
This whole concept started from one man and his desire to break out of Los Angeles and settle into a better life with his family, including his parents. Born in Argentina, this close-knit group has never owned a restaurant together, but when Marcelo Garcia thought about his next steps in life, and his father's, he had a good time in mind. "We aren't doing this to make a million. We are doing it because we want to have fun. I look at my father and he's almost 80, and I want us to be able to enjoy life," says Marcelo Garcia, the chef of the clan and brain behind all the brats.
One of the creations is the duck and bacon with jalapeno, cilantro, garlic, onions, and herbs. This brat is buttery and rich in flavors and spices that Columbus must have been looking for all those years ago. Each ingredient is thoughtfully chosen to complement the dishes. The meats are from Nicky USA and Cascade Farms, and the buns and bread are from Big Ed's. The sauces, which include curry ketchup, garlic aioli and a chimichurri mayo, are all homemade.
The whole Garcia family takes part in running the business. The patriarch of the family, Rubeu Garcia, is the owner and does much of the day-to-day workings. "We love it. We have a great time here," he says. This man is as friendly and happy as a pack of puppies. "Are you cold? Would you like for me to get you a blanket?" Wow. No, sir, but that was the best thing anyone could ever ask another person since blankets came to be. Daughters Frankie, 19, and Lily, 16, work the counter. Momma Garcia, Tisha, does what is needed as many moms do and Grandma Mercedes, also known as the Chimichurri Grandma, helps a lot, mostly in the kitchen.
Chimichurri, a sauce made famous in Argentina, is a medley of spices and oil, and is served with sliced bread at Bangers & Brews as a side dish. This is where the name Chimichurri Grandma comes in. She has been making this sauce from scratch since she could reach a cutting board and has perfected the recipe throughout the years. She kisses her granddaughter Lili on the forehead and proceeds to talk about raising her own children on this green herbed topping. "I made it myself. I made it all for my children, for my three boys," she says before going back to her tasks in the kitchen.
The food is phenomenal and so far people are agreeing. Local to the Century neighborhood, Karen Heiser wandered in looking for a slice of pizza (the shop before Bangers & Brews) and ended up leaving with the lamb special. She talks about how there are no other options in town like the ones offered at Bangers. "It's a nice addition to Bend. I'm glad I walked in here today," she says. Mackenzie Stabler, a Humm Kombucha employee, comes in moments after Heiser to warn the Garcias of a swarm of Humm employees fresh from the Pole Pedal Paddle and ready to eat. She is instantly impressed by the wild game and variety offered. "I love seeing rabbit on the menu. You just never see that anywhere," she says.
There are the more traditional offerings available as well, but Bend is all about a simple existence, not boring, so even standard brats have a bit of a kick. Whether it is from the homemade garlic aioli, or the chicken and apple poultry option, these brats are anything but ordinary.
Bangers & Brews
1288 SW Simpson Ave. Suite A, Bend
Also on Facebook and Yelp
Tuesday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Friday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Sunday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.